Dr. Clanton was born at Glenco, La., March 27, 1857. His parents were Mr. Solomon and Mrs. Maria Clanton. After his conversion he was baptized into the membership of the Austerlitz Street Baptist Church by Elder George W. Walker.
His parents being unable to help him all the way through school, he began in early life to help himself. He trusted God and worked his way through New Orleans University, graduating with honors from the B. A. degree Course in 1878. After holding a professorship in Leland University 1878-80, he entered the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill., graduating therefrom in 1883 from the B. D. degree Course.
Being conscious of a call to the ministry, Bishop Clanton made same known to his brethren and was ordained in 1881 in the Olivet Baptist Church, Chicago, Ill., by the following Bishops: T. J. Morgan, Richard DeBaptist, E. B. Hubbard, Dean of Divinity School, University of Chicago, Wm. Laurence, J. T. Burhoe, George C. Lorimer and J. W. Polk. Dr. J. T. Morgan was chairman of Presbytery and Bishop R. DeBaptist, clerk; ordination sermon being preached by Dr. Hubbard.
After returning South and throwing himself into the work of human uplift, Brother Clanton pastored the following churches: Austerlitz Street Baptist Church, 1891-94, and Bethany Baptist Church, New Orleans, La. The following positions have been creditably filled by him: Sunday-School Missionary of American Baptist Publication Society, 1883-90; District Secretary of American Baptist Publication Society, 1890-95. This secretaryship covered all the Gulf States. He rendered valuable service both to the Society and his denomination while filling these positions. This is not all; the first Secretary of our great National Baptist Convention was Dr. Solomon T. Clanton, being elected at the Convention's organization, August, 1886, in the First Baptist Church, St. Louis, Mo. He served until 1896. He was elected Recording Secretary of the Foreign Mission Convention in 1885 at New Orleans, La., and continued in that office until 1895 with the exception of one year (1887). 1903-04 the subject of this sketch served as principal and chaplain of A. & M. College, Normal, Ala. October of this same year he was called to the principalship of Helena Academy, Helena, Ark. After working for some time as Field Secretary of the John C. Martin Educational Fund, he was called to the Assistant Deanship of Theological School at Selma University. After serving in this capacity under Deans W. H. McAlpine, Albert F. Owens and C. O. Booth, Brother Clanton succeeded to the Deanship in 1909 when Dr. Booth resigned. At this time (1914) he is Vice President of Selma University.
June 6, 1883, he was joined in holy wedlock to Miss Olive Byrd, of Decatur, Ill. Eleven children bless this union, the eldest being Miss E. M. Clanton, stenographer Houston College; Georgia E. Clanton, Benjamin Griffith, Attorney-at-Law; S. T. Clanton, Jr., Attorney-at-Law; Johnetta B. Clanton, Music Teacher in Western College, Macon, Mo.; Dwight Lorimer Clanton, Jannitta B. Clanton, Robert Stewart, Pheobe Nan and two others who have gone before.
The Louisiana Baptist brotherhood will always think kindly of Dr. Clanton for services rendered. For years he stood shoulder to shoulder with the early state leaders. Such men as Bishops John Marks, A. S. Jackson, A. R. Blunt, J. M. Carter, H. B. N. Brown and others.
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